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Special Delivery: Pierce Builds Three PUC Pumpers, Two 107-Foot Ascendant PUC Quints for Fort Worth (TX) Fire Department

Issue 12 and Volume 24.

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Pierce Builds Three PUC Pumpers, Two 107-Foot Ascendant PUC Quints for Fort Worth (TX) Fire Department

The Fort Worth Fire Department recently changed to a committee-style method of specing its fire apparatus when it needed to replace three pumper and two aerial ladder quints.

After investigating various manufacturers and testing several apparatus, the department chose Pierce Manufacturing Inc. to build three PUC pumpers and two 107-foot Ascendant™ PUC quints to add to its fleet of 39 engines, 12 quints, three aerial platforms, and one 135-foot straight stick.

James Barton, Fort Worth deputy chief of logistics and support services, says, “In the past, our apparatus replacement schedule was to replace three to four pumpers and one aerial in a year, but we are working on a new plan now to replace apparatus quicker than that because of the number of calls we are making with these trucks. Our run volume has gone up, which means more wear and tear at a faster pace on the vehicles. Instead of keeping our apparatus on the front line for 10 years and then five years in reserve, we rethought that model and want to replace pumpers every eight years for their total lifetime.”


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Travis Ownby, regional sales manager for Siddons-Martin Emergency Group, who sold the pumpers and quints to Fort Worth, notes that he worked with the Fort Worth truck committee to show them Pierce pumpers and aerials in service in the fleets at the Dallas (TX) Fire-Rescue Department and the Irving (TX) Fire Department. “Fort Worth’s truck committee was looking for pumpers and aerials that would fulfill all the specs and give them a smooth ride as well as have a rock-solid air-conditioning system,” Ownby says. “They wanted pumpers and quints that were rugged and could handle a lot of heavy use.”

The Fort Worth (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build three PUC pumpers on Velocity chassis with medium cabs and seating for six firefighters. (Photos 1-8 courtesy of Siddons-Martin Emergency Group.)

 The Fort Worth (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build three PUC pumpers on Velocity chassis with medium cabs and seating for six firefighters. (Photos 1-8 courtesy of Siddons-Martin Emergency Group.)

The Fort Worth PUC pumpers carry 1,500-gpm Pierce PUC pumps, 750-gallon polypropylene water tanks, 30-gallon foam cells, and FoamPro 2001 foam systems.

 The Fort Worth PUC pumpers carry 1,500-gpm Pierce PUC pumps, 750-gallon polypropylene water tanks, 30-gallon foam cells, and FoamPro 2001 foam systems.

The Pierce PUC pumpers each are set up to carry 1,000 feet of LDH and 350 feet of 2½-inch hose in their hosebeds

 The Pierce PUC pumpers each are set up to carry 1,000 feet of LDH and 350 feet of 2½-inch hose in their hosebeds.

He adds, “We got positive reviews from the department’s operators on how well the suspension handled on both the pumpers and the quints because of the TAK-4 independent suspension system that Pierce installed on the rigs. They also liked the wide visibility of the windshield in the Velocity cabs.”

John Schultz, Pierce’s business unit director for pumper products, notes that like any big city fire department, Fort Worth had well defined what it wanted in its pumpers and quints and how it expected them to operate. “They had specific requirements for preconnected hoselines; particular storage requirements; how they wanted the hose packaged; and the inclusion of a booster reel, light tower, generator, and auxiliary cab air-conditioning,” he says. “Our PUC product was a good fit for a lot of the attributes they were looking for in the pumpers and quints, which included a shorter wheelbase, large complement of storage space, and lower preconnects and hosebed. The PUC met these requirements for them, and serviceability was another big advantage for them.”

Ownby says the three PUC pumpers are on Velocity chassis with medium cabs and seating for six firefighters and are powered by 450-horsepower (hp) Cummins L9 diesel engines and Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmissions. The PUC pumpers have wheelbases of 192 inches, overall lengths of 32 feet 11 inches, and overall heights of 8 feet 11 inches; 19,5000-pound TAK-4 independent front suspension front axles; and 27,000-pound Meritor rear axles.

The Fort Worth PUC pumpers are powered by 450-hp Cummins L9 diesel engines and Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmissions.

 The Fort Worth PUC pumpers are powered by 450-hp Cummins L9 diesel engines and Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmissions.

The Pierce-built PUC pumpers for Fort Worth have two 1¾-inch crosslays of 200 feet each in trays, one two-inch crosslay of 250 feet in a tray, 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose in the extended front bumper, and 200 feet of 2½-inch hose preconnected at the rear of the pumper with a Task Force Tips Blitzfire in a nearby compartment.

 The Pierce-built PUC pumpers for Fort Worth have two 1¾-inch crosslays of 200 feet each in trays, one two-inch crosslay of 250 feet in a tray, 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose in the extended front bumper, and 200 feet of 2½-inch hose preconnected at the rear of the pumper with a Task Force Tips Blitzfire in a nearby compartment.

Fort Worth also had Pierce build two 107-foot Ascendant PUC aerial ladder quints with 1,500-gpm single-stage Pierce PUC pumps and 500-gallon water tanks.

 Fort Worth also had Pierce build two 107-foot Ascendant PUC aerial ladder quints with 1,500-gpm single-stage Pierce PUC pumps and 500-gallon water tanks.

The Ascendant’s 107-foot aerial ladder has a 750-pound dry and 500-pound wet tip load.

 The Ascendant’s 107-foot aerial ladder has a 750-pound dry and 500-pound wet tip load.

Each of the two Fort Worth Ascendant PUC quints is powered by a 525-hp Detroit DD13 engine and an Allison 4500 EVS P automatic transmission, with a Jacobs compression brake.

 Each of the two Fort Worth Ascendant PUC quints is powered by a 525-hp Detroit DD13 engine and an Allison 4500 EVS P automatic transmission, with a Jacobs compression brake.

Fort Worth firefighters during training and familiarization on one of the Pierce Ascendant PUC quints. (Photo courtesy of the Fort Worth Fire Department.)

 Fort Worth firefighters during training and familiarization on one of the Pierce Ascendant PUC quints. (Photo courtesy of the Fort Worth Fire Department.)

Pierce Manufacturing Ascendant PUC Quints

  • Pierce Velocity Ascendant PUC quint with seating for six firefighters
  • 253½-inch wheelbase
  • Overall length: 41 feet, 11 inches
  • Overall height: 11 feet, 8 inches
  • Oshkosh TAK-4 24,000-pound rated front axle
  • Meritor 48,000-pound rated rear axle
  • 107-foot aerial ladder, 500-pound wet/750-pound dry tip load
  • Detroit DD13 525-hp engine
  • Allison 4500 EVS P automatic transmission
  • Jacobs compression brake
  • 1,500-gpm single-stage Pierce PUC pump
  • 500-gallon water tank
  • Torque box compartment holds one 35-foot two-section and one 28-foot two-section extension ladder; 20-foot, 14-foot, and 12-foot roof ladders; and one 10-foot attic ladder
  • 800 feet of 4-inch LDH in hosebed
  • Two 1¾-inch crosslays of 200 feet each in trays
  • One 200-foot 2½-inch rear-facing preconnect
  • 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose in extended front bumper
  • Harrison 6-kW hydraulic generator

Matt Frank, Fort Worth captain for fire vehicle services, says that each of the pumpers carries a Pierce 1,500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) PUC pump, a 750-gallon polypropylene water tank, a 30-gallon foam cell, a FoamPro 2001 foam system, two 1¾-inch crosslays in trays holding 200 feet each, one two-inch crosslay in a tray holding 250 feet of hose, 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose in the extended front bumper, and 200 feet of 2½-inch preconnected hose at the rear, with a Task Force Tips Blitzfire nozzle in a nearby compartment. Frank says the pumpers carry 1,000 feet of four-inch large-diameter hose (LDH) and 350 feet of 2½-inch hose in their hosebeds and have a manual Akron Brass deck gun, a Will-Burt Night Scan light tower, a Harrison six-kW MSV hydraulic generator, and roll-up doors covering full-height and full-depth compartments.

The two PUC Ascendant quints are also on Velocity chassis with cabs seating six firefighters and powered by 525-hp Detroit DD13 engines and Allison 4500 EVS P automatic transmissions with Jacobs compression brakes. Wheelbases on the quints are 253½ inches, overall lengths are 41 feet 11 inches, and overall heights are 11 feet 8 inches; the front axles have 24,000-pound TAK-4 independent suspensions, and the rear axles are made by Meritor and rated at 48,000 pounds.

Pierce Manufacturing PUC Pumpers

  • Pierce Velocity PUC pumper with medium cab and seating for six firefighters
  • Overall height: 8 feet, 11 inches
  • Overall length: 32 feet, 11 inches
  • 192-inch wheelbase
  • 19,500-pound TAK-4 independent suspension front axle
  • 27,000-pound Meritor rear axle
  • 19-inch steel extended front bumper
  • 450-hp Cummins L9 engine
  • Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission
  • 1,500-gpm Pierce PUC pump
  • 750-gallon polypropylene water tank
  • 30-gallon foam cell
  • FoamPro 2001 foam system
  • Two 1¾-inch crosslays of 200 feet each in trays
  • One two-inch crosslay of 250 feet in a tray
  • 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose in extended front bumper
  • Full-height and full-depth compartments
  • Roll-up doors
  • Harrison 6-kW MSV hydraulic generator

Ownby points out that the Ascendant’s 107-foot aerial ladder has a tip load of 500 pounds wet and 750 pounds dry, and each has a 1,500-gpm single-stage Pierce PUC pump and a 500-gallon polypropylene water tank. He says that the quint’s torque box compartment holds one Alco-Lite 35-foot two-section extension ladder, an Alco-Lite 28-foot two-section extension ladder, Alco-Lite 20-foot and 14-foot roof ladders, a Duo-Safety 12-foot roof ladder, and an Alco-Lite 10-foot attic ladder. The rig also carries a Harrison six-kW hydraulic generator, two 1¾-inch crosslays holding 200 feet each in trays, one 2½-inch preconnect of 200 feet, and 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose in the extended front bumper.

Frank notes that the PUC pumpers and quints all have FireCom wireless headsets, backup and right side-view cameras that show up in Pierce’s Command Zone screens for the driver and officer, and rooftop air-conditioning units that can be plugged into shore power to provide climate control in the rig while in the station.


ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.